Woman Gone Wild

Travel, photography, adventure

Wales

Nicole Duncan

“Once again Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs, Which on a wild secluded scene impress Thoughts of more deep seclusion"

Wordsworth perfectly captured the spirit of a trip to Wales in this "Lines Written from a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey". I'm not convinced there are ever days that are warm and sunny in Wales but I love it anyway. As a visitor, it feels as if your cares vanish as you cross the river.

Around the World

Nicole Duncan

Around the world in 52 days. Not quite the journey of Phileas Fogg and Passepartout but we've been on planes, cars, buses, multiple types of trains, ferries. I think we should have thrown in a hot air balloon to round it all out but I'm not sure where there was time for that. According to the travel calculator, we travelled 24,646.037 miles over the summer of 2013 which doesn't include all of the driving around. From big cities to quiet beaches, it has been a memorable and absolutely fun-filled summer.

Italy

Nicole Duncan

Italy has always been easy with the children. The Italians always seem happy to have the children at the table and engage with them readily. Our first trip was with Iain when he was 9 months old and just starting to walk. We never had a difficult moment (unlike the UK).

The only thing we regularly find challenging are the late dinners. An afternoon snack is absolutely imperative as dinner will never be before 7pm. The restaurants aren't even open before 7pm. Fine for adult, tricky for the kids.

There were so many interactive things to do on this trip. Before we had stuck to site-seeing and eating. Asked to plan the trip himself, Iain uncovered some great gems - learn to be a gladiator in Rome, have a go at rowing a gondola in Venice. All delivered by locals, we got a great flavour of life in the city.

Perfect place to travel light. One bag each and we were happy.

Public transport worked beautifully and had easy to follow maps. I've driven in Italy. It is doable as long as you are a confident driver unafraid to be a bit aggressive. Perfect for a native New Yorker but maybe not someone from the polite climes of Seattle. Car seats were available from the car rental company when we needed them.

Step away from the tourist areas and just wander with a map.

The kids book for this trip is another Magic Treehouse book by Mary Pope Osborne, VacationUndertheVolcano,  andtheadultbookisAnthony Capella's charming The Wedding Officer.

The Himalayas

Nicole Duncan

Readin Cornelia Funke's "Dragon Rider" inspired my eldest to travel to the Himalayas. We found that carrying a soccer ball made it easy for them to connect to other kids and that flexibility was the key to enjoying a challenging trip.